I’ll be the first person to stand up and support the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic care. When people don’t care for their spines, there is a chance that the rest of the body suffers. With an adjustment from an upper cervical chiropractor, people find that chronic problems like headaches and stiffness go away.

Receiving upper cervical chiropractic care is just one part of the full-body wellness puzzle, though. In addition to maintaining a healthy spine, you need to ensure you’re eating a nutritious diet. The body cannot create everything it needs, such as vitamins and minerals, so it’s up to you to ensure it receives these things.

There are two aspects to your diet: What foods you eat and how much of them you eat. The goal is to find the right balance of food types, which fulfill your nutrition needs, in the proper quantities. You may be familiar with the food pyramid, which outlines the six food groups—grains, milk, vegetables, fruits, meat / beans and oils—and provides guidelines regarding how much of each you should consume on a daily basis, based on an 1,800-calorie diet. It’s not necessary to count calories or dissect each and every piece of food you put in your mouth, but taking the time to become familiar with what types and quantities of foods you should be ingesting will help you make smarter choices about nutrition.

But why does it matter anyway? The body requires certain molecules to function that it cannot create on its own, and those nutrients must be consumed by you. All of these molecules must be present and working properly in order for the body to perform at its peak ability. If there are essential nutrients missing from your diet, your body will not be able to function normally.

Proper nutrition requires adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Each of these helps the body in a specific manner, and a lack of one of them may result in malfunctioning parts of the body. For example, if you lack vitamin D, you may experience bone softening, and a potassium deficiency causes muscle cramps.

The right diet is a compilation of foods from the food groups that provide the right amount of the essential nutrients. It also limits the intake of foods that are low in nutrients and high in saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium and sugar, such as candy and soda. Not all bodies are the same, and, therefore, not all diets are created equal. In addition, your needs may be different depending on your dietary preferences or restrictions, gender, age and activity level.

Once you’ve found the right diet for your needs, stick with it. A nutritious diet, just like a healthy spine, is an essential component in full-body wellness. In order for the body to function properly, it requires that both needs be met. Only then can your body best serve you and your lifestyle.

REFERENCES

Diet and Nutrition Guide. Healia.com. Retrieved March 17, 2011 from http://www.healia.com/healthguide/guides/diet-and-nutrition.

Gelfand, Jonathan L., MD. Climbing to the Top of the Food Pyramid. WebMD.com (February 20, 2010). Retrieved March 17, 2011 from http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/climbing-top-food-pyramid.